A guide to help potential contributors develop their skills.
If you are considering contributing to Exeter Observer please see our contributors guide.
Remove superfluous formatting e.g. double spaces
Check factual accuracy inc. names/claims etc.
Correct spelling and grammar
Read from start to finish (out loud if possible), matching pace of first-time reader to get overall picture, identify structural errors/weaknesses etc.
- do paragraphs flow in optimum sequence, with linked paragraphs within each section following preceding paragraphs and overall structural cascade that makes sense?
- does clear narrative thread run throughout piece that addressed central points/arguments?
- do headline and standfirst accurately summarise story’s lead and highlight its hook, value and public interest?
- does wrap draw all necessary threads together and provide satisfactory conclusion?
Edit to improve structure
Edit to improve style
Check and/or add links where necessary
- when explanation or definition required
- to give context or background
- for attribution of source content
- when copyright license required
- for navigation to related material
- within a sentence
- using uniquely descriptive text, ideally containing keywords
- concisely, with no more words than are necessary for an accurate description
- NEVER using click here, read more etc.
Post-subediting publishing tasks
- Identify potential defamation risks
- Ensure markup/down is correctly formatted esp. links, inverted commas, italics, bold
- Choose and format any pullquotes and dropcaps
- Create any infoboxes
- Create and embed any infographics
- Crop/resize/compress and embed images inc. keyframe
- Write image captions (inc. verified licensing info) and Alt text
- Add story type, category, tags, author(s), date and time
- Write headline and standfirst.
NB the above does not consider print publication issues e.g. fitting copy into layout, removing widows/orphans etc.
- News writing
- News brief
- Submission guide
- What is news?
- Objectivity, neutrality, impartiality & balance
- Information sources
- Perspective sources
- Multimedia collateral & copyright
- Feature writing
- Research resources
- Data protection & media law
- Local government transparency & information access rights
- Exeter regional democracy & governance
- Exeter regional planning & place
- Exeter regional transport & mobility
- Digital information and communications security
Guides covering other Exeter regional policy and practice areas are also being prepared.